The Process: The Way of the Tarot Reader

The Process: The Way of the Tarot Reader by Dan Pelletier 


Available in 6-CD set or mp3 at The Tarot Connection website and at the Tarot Garden website.

Cover art from The Alchemical Tarot by Robert M. Place (c) 2004-2008

By Sheri Harshberger

The Process:  The Way of the Tarot Reader by Dan M. Pelletier

Produced by Leisa ReFalo, The Tarot Connection, September 2008

Copyright (c) 2008 by Dan Pelletier and The Tarot Connection

ISBN: 978-1-935194-99-6

Leave it to Dan Pelletier (as author) and Leisa ReFalo (as producer) to throw convention to the winds and come up with something completely different!  Just when it is thought that all that can be said about Tarot has been said... many times over, Dan and Leisa present a unique take on the Tarot from all perspectives.  An audiobook, but not an audiobook on card meanings – although there is a bit of that, not an audiobook on Tarot history – although there is a bit of that also, and not an audiobook on spreads – although there is some of that, too... it's an audiobook about being a Tarot card reader.  Of course, we have come to know Leisa ReFalo as the bringer of all that is cool and needed in Tarot at just the right time, through her website, and through her popular Tarot Connection podcasts.  Dan Pelletier is an internationally known lecturer and co-owner of the amazing Tarot Garden, truly a one-stop shop for Tarot and oracle decks, especially some of the more rare ones and limited editions, and has frequently guested on Leisa's Tarot Connection podcasts.  

The audiobook is available as a 6-CD set for $60.00 US or as a single CD mp3 for $45.00 US, with extras that are also available on Leisa's website,, both are handsomely packaged in cases with a Robert Place Alchemical Tarot illustration on the cover.  I bought the 6-CD set for myself.

There are 26 chapters in the audiobook, separated by short, yet cool music interludes.  There are also extras on the CD that are also available on Leisa's website.  The playtime for The Process in it's entirety is 5.4 hours and is loadable in parts or whole onto your favorite mp3 player, iPod, or in my case, iPhone.

At the very beginning of the book, you are invited to Dan's house to learn to be a Tarot reader through his  interesting stories... and to work with him in his rose garden.  Throughout the book, Dan emphasizes the importance of individuality and independent thought as applied to reading.  He encourages you, as you listen, to hear what he says and agree or disagree, to find your own way of reading as he found his.  He isn't teaching his way of reading, he is sharing what he does and how he feels about it,  he is providing the tools, in the form of thought provoking discussion, for you to find your own style and reason for reading... and talking about the care and maintenance of the roses in his garden – a parallel and compelling metaphor that runs throughout the book.  His stories resonate with the listener because he has no problem reminding you the listener and fellow Tarot reader, that although he has been reading for over 30 years, he has and has had the same problems that you have with reading – such as the troublesome empty bit of space at the beginning of a reading when you wonder what the heck you are doing there – he calls it the “blank spot” and encourages the exploration of it rather than fearing it.  He talks about the “flashes,” ethics, reading for others, and also includes chapters on reading with playing cards and reading with toothpicks!

His approach brings martial arts to mind – learning from a mentor through talk and through metaphor.  The old Kung Fu TV series comes to mind.  How one must continue to practice every day to be the best that one can be.  This approach suggests that reading is like any other art, martial or otherwise, and it must be practiced.  There is a deep reverence for reading – and roses, throughout the book.

As interesting and cool as the audio book is, it isn't for everyone.  The method of learning is very interactive, even if you are only listening.  Dan leaves the dots around you, it is up to you to connect them.  This can make people who are more used to structured learning uncomfortable.  While there are meanings for numerology and some meanings for cards, it isn't intended as a resource for that, in fact the focus is on showing you how to think about the cards and come up with your own meanings.  He is a strong advocate for journaling, not just as a means to learn a new Tarot deck, but as a tool for lifelong learning and self discovery.

This is a must have if you want to see reading through a new set of eyes... or should I say ears?

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors.  All images used with permission. 

Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008

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